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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Starbucks' New Cold Brew! And Homemade Creamer Recipe!

Hello, friends! Today was the big unveiling of Starbucks' newest beverage called, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. So of course, I had to run to my nearest Starbucks to give it a try. It seemed especially appropriate to share my opinion with all of you! So, I am enjoying it by the
pool while my kids swim! I have to say, it's pretty good! I got a tall with 2 pumps of vanilla syrup rather than the usual 3. It was a tiny bit bitter, but the aftertaste was good! I am attempting to cut back on sugar. I am admittedly, not very good at it, but I try to cut back where I can.
Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew
On a side note, isn't that a fun watermelon pool raft in the background? I got it on AmazonSmile after we saw it during a commercial break for Nickelodeon's Henry Danger.  I thought it was really cute, and my kids are obsessed with it! You can find it here: http://smile.amazon.com/Swimline-Watermelon-Slice-Island-Inflatable  And yes, Amazon Smile. You use it like regular Amazon, but it donates a portion of your purchases to the organization of your choice. Sounds like a win-win to me!
My 2 youngest having a moment on the watermelon raft!



Look at the fun pattern a wet one makes on the side!
I make my own cold brew coffee at home. (Recipe to follow another time!) I make it for my son and I (no judgements, please!!). We like to enjoy a cup of cold brew together when he comes home from school sometimes. I also make my own homemade creamer. I use the creamer for both hot and cold coffee. It is so easy and good! Here is how I do it:

Homemade Coffee Creamer
Ingredients:
1 can of condensed milk
4 cups of milk (I use whole milk, but any milk would be fine)

Heat both in a saucepan until the condensed milk is incorporated. Watch it carefully, so it does not burn or scald. Use a funnel to pour it into your desired container(s). Store in the refrigerator. Simple as that! You can add different flavors to vary it any way you like, but that is the basic recipe. 

I hope you enjoy it!!
Sara

© 2016 Moms' Coffee Date All Rights Reserved



Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!

Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy! Here is mine below! I felt like I needed my coffee to take the preparation for this project on! On Saturday, my family and I had over 3 other families for a pool party and cookout. Here are some of the things we did!
My homemade cold brew iced coffee!

On Friday, I ran errands collecting supplies for the party. I came across these cute paper platters at Target! They were great for holding the hamburgers, hot dogs and buns. I also picked up some bubbles for the little kids, some juice boxes and water bottles, and of course, some pool floats and noodles, it was a pool party after all! Is there anything Target doesn't have?!



Here are a few of the decorations I put up just to make it a bit more festive. These would be great for a 4th of July or Labor Day party too!
Paper banner

Luminaries with battery operated candles on my island with some M&Ms
Patriotic wreath on the bathroom door
Now, on to the adult fun stuff! While out running errands, I found this sangria at Whole Foods and decided to try it!  I love sangria and the bottle was so cute! It was really good! Everyone who tried it really enjoyed it. It was sweet, but not too sweet and the resealable and reusable bottle is so handy!
We tried this sangria, it was so good!

 And then, I made vodka soaked watermelon balls. They were a hit! Here are some pictures to show how I did it!

Cut off the top and use a melon baller to carve out the center
 I put the finished melon balls in a shallow container and added 1 1/2 cups of vodka. It was a lot of watermelon! I put all the balls back into the watermelon rind with the juice and vodka to serve.


I labeled it so the kids didn't accidentally eat some! 
I also made a fruit salad with some strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, some lemon juice and some mint from my garden.




 And finally, a tray of s'mores "fixins." I added some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and some York Peppermint Patties to the usual graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars. I think all the kids (and kids at heart!) in attendance were happy!


We had a great time! Hope these ideas give you inspiration for a fun summer get together at your home!
Happy Summer!
Sara

© 2016 Moms' Coffee Date All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Chicken Caprese for Dinner, Anyone?

Hi everyone! Grab your favorite device and cup of coffee, and settle in for some recipe advice!

I don't know about you, but I see recipes on my Facebook feed or Pinterest boards all the time that I find intriguing. I have tried a few, but they are not always worth it. My kids are picky eaters, and not to sound too clichè, but who has the time to make a dinner, not to mention one that you bothered to invest your time and energy in that no one likes??  When you go to the trouble to make a dinner for your family, you want everyone to enjoy it. So, you fall into the trap that I often do, which is trying something new that has ingredients your family generally likes. So, recently, I saw this Chicken Caprese recipe from Delish at http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a47169/caprese-chicken-recipe/ in my Facebook feed as shared by a friend. I decided it looked worthy of trying. Here is my attempt at making it and photographing the steps! Keep reading to see what my family and I thought!


Next, I browned the chicken. Not a hard step, but I have a tendency to put it in the pan too early, before it is hot enough, so it never normally looks this way. I was so busy slicing tomatoes, the chicken actually had a chance to sear!
Browning the chicken 

Here, I forgot to snap a picture of just the balsamic vinegar, so I got a shot of the vinegar, garlic and tomatoes together. It really did smell so good!
Balsamic vinegar and tomatoes- smelled so good!

Next, I cut some basil from my Modern Sprout Garden Jar 3 pack. I got this for Christmas last year from my mom. You grow your own herbs from the organic seeds they provide in these cute mason jars!! I have really enjoyed using them. Full disclosure: I am in no way getting paid to say this. I just like them and think you might enjoy them too! They sit on my laundry room counter in the window. They are so low maintenance, use only water and are organic! Awesome all the way around in my book!  You can get yourself a set here: http://www.modsprout.com/products/garden-jar-three-pack-herb-essentials.

Chopping up the basil from my Modern Sprout Herb Kit

The recipe from the site, did not include pasta, but I made some fettuccine to go with it. Again, with the picky kids. I always try to have some element, of any meal I make, that I know that my kids will eat. I refuse to be a short order cook. But I do try to accomodate them by having something I know they will eat, especially when I am trying a new recipe.


Boiling the pasta
Now, the chicken goes back into the pan with the tomatoes and add basil.


Next, I added the mozzarella. I didn't have the larger mozzarella, so I just cut up the little mozzarella balls to cover it. That actually helped me, because some of my kids would not touch the chicken if it had cheese on it, so I just left half of one breast not covered.

Chicken-half "plain" and half with cheese
Oooooh...look at all that melted cheese goodness. Just looking at it makes me want to make it again. Oops! Spoiler alert! I just ruined the big reveal!




 The finished product! I hope you can see the goodness that this was! The balsamic vinegar created this sort of sauce that coated the pasta beautifully. My husband and I loved it!! The kids were less than impressed, but hopefully your kids are not as picky as mine! I highly recommend trying this! Definitely top it with lots of Romano cheese, add a side salad and some garlic bread and maybe a glass of wine and this is a fantastic dinner! Hope you liked it as much as we did!


Signing off for today, 
Sara

© 2016 Moms' Coffee Date All Rights Reserved

For the love of Target!


Welcome back to Moms' Coffee Date! You've got Sara today, so let's grab a cup of coffee, and let's discuss one of our very favorite places, Target! 

Trina and I had the opportunity to get together last weekend to visit. One of our staples in our schedule on the days we get to hang out is Target. We find ourselves wandering the aisles, Starbucks in hand, as we discuss the merits of the latest shoe collection they have, or which holiday items we must pick up without our children around. It's crazy how much Santa and the Easter Bunny find at Target!  Anyway, this time, I saw these gems below. I am a Pepsi fan, Trina is a Coke fan. We can see past our differences. Ha! 
We decided to give these new types a try on our day out!
Full disclosure: I love soda. I used to drink it all the time. Pepsi, in particular. Actually, Cherry Pepsi, in particular. In the last several years, I have tried really hard to only have it on occasion, in an effort to be healthier and cut back on my sugar consumption. (That may be another post for another day.)

So, on to the taste testing! So, first of all, we picked these right off of the shelf, so they were not cold. That would have been a big benefit. We both tried them when we got back to the car. I actually preferred the one in the darker can, the 1893 Original Cola. It reminded me a lot of Coke. It had that classic cola taste and carbonated flavor. Is that a flavor, exactly? I am not sure, but that it the best way I can describe it. Trina seemed to enjoy it as well, but she preferred the one in the sort of copper colored can, the 1893 Ginger Cola. She says she loves ginger and I think she quite enjoyed it. I was not as big a fan of it as she was. The ginger flavor was pretty strong. 




After that, we browsed a bit more, collecting snacks to take home to our children, and I picked up these super cute Threshold starfish pillows! I love the color teal and the fun texture of the buttons and beads! They were even on sale with the Cartwheel app! Score!
In addition, Trina and I were inspired by these ring pop popsicle/candy molds. Summer is fast approaching, and aren't we always looking for some novel thing to do with our kids? This seemed like a fun thing to try. Trina is going to test this one out and report back. I am saving mine for a last day of school gift for my 3 kiddos.  Did I mention my kids only have 8 days of school left?!? I don't know whether to be excited or terrified! Filling an entire of summer full of activities for 3 kids is daunting. More on that later!
Our cart at checkout!

Thanks for stopping by today! I hope that you grab a coffee with us again soon!












© 2016 Moms' Coffee Date All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Join us for a regular coffee date!

Hi! Welcome to Mom's Coffee Date! We created this blog as a way to share tips and ideas as if you were on a coffee date with your best friend!

We are two moms, Trina and Sara, who have been best friends for close to 20 years! Between us, we have 5 children from ages 12 to 3. Over the years, we have shared ideas, cried on each other's shoulders and vented about our families. We met in college, but now live in different cities, and try to meet every few months to get together. We go shopping, eat out and of course, have coffee! We have this one bench in a public place that has become a tradition to sit on and drink the coffee while we talk about life and people watch.

We should start out the blog by saying, this is for our enjoyment to share with you, our esteemed readers, some of the things we have learned and things we want to try. We know everyone is busy, and it is easy to scroll through our respective FaceBook and Instagram feeds and be inspired by all the fabulous recipes and new products. But let's be honest. Who has time to try all of it? And haven't we all been lured into trying some amazing crockpot recipe on Pinterest, only to discover it isn't so amazing? Well, we're here to help. Let us do the trying and the testing. We will report what we think, to help you avoid the pitfalls. This blog is never intended to force our ideas and opinions on you. Take what helps, leave what doesn't. We aren't perfect, this is just a lighthearted blog for our enjoyment and yours!


So, we hope you will join us on this journey! Just think of it as a coffee date with your two newest best friends! Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!



© 2016 Moms' Coffee Date All Rights Reserved